Greg Murat (mur-rah)  
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Journal October 2005

Kayden does Deniro
Kayden does Deniro
"Are you talkin' to me?"

October 30, 2005
Service is the rent that we pay for our room on earth-Lord Halifax
   I awakened at ten to five this morning and I walked out into the living room. Liz was placing a blanket on a young man on the couch as to "tuck him in for the night". I was instantly transported to a scene several years ago when I awakened about the same time and went into the living room. Standing in the room reeking of alcohol was an 8 feet tall 300 pound Samoan man. That night we had been baby-sitting someone's baby. The mom was supposed to be back at midnight, not 5 a.m. I said "What the hell and who are you?" He said he was with the mother of the child and that she was in the bedroom gathering him up. I was not a happy camper. Seeing Liz and realizing the anger I felt was displaced, I chose to grit my teeth and avoid speaking while I returned my body to the present tense and counted to two thousand and seventeen.
  On Saturday Liz and I went to breakfast to talk about all of our lives and our plans for the future. At one point she asked if I felt any clearer about the questions I asked her. I think we both laughed because I really hadn't gotten any answers. It seems I am doomed to wander in shadows for the present time. Liz is making straight A's in school, holding down a job and helping out around the house. She is a young woman now and I told her this is a letting go process that is harder for a dad than a mom. I asked for patience and courtesy. We will not make this another painful phase. Last night I was so excited to get a good night of sleep that I was also upset when I awoke because that chance had passed. My brain was processing so much diverse thought that I nearly blew a fuse. I thought I smelled smoke coming out of her ears.
  I finally said "It is 5 in the morning and there is a man in our living room; this night did not go well. We will talk about it tomorrow. Please go to bed." I talked to Andie afterwards and she laughed and said "He is a good kid, he mowed our lawn several years ago." I told her I had to calm down so I kept quiet. I guess Liz told another friend who was having trouble with her parents "You can come live with us. Everyone comes to live with us." So I am glad she helped her friend who needed a place to stay. I am glad she believed we would say it's okay. I am glad I kept my mouth shut and held back the outburst that was boiling just in back of my throat. You can't take back the damage done from what you say. In my old age I have learned to maintain noble silence when I feel like my tongue is set to run on auto pilot or steered by anger. Thank God for that.
All that and we woke up still alive.
Today I will remember to thank God for His patience and ask that He continue to work on me until He gets it right.
PS Mike, Maria's husband, is home from the hospital and doing fine. She forgot to call and let us know. Thanks for the prayers.

October 29, 2005
A friend may well be reckoned a masterpiece of nature. Ralph Waldo Emerson
I believe when the singer sings the singer owns the song. There is nothing like harmony. It takes a melody to a new realm. Friends are the harmony in the songs of our lives. Babies, well, they are the strings. They stir emotions as subtle as a breeze and as powerful as a twister. Little Kayden is sleeping now in Liz's lap. He got me up just before 7 and we played until 9:30. He is going on an adventure today with Andie and Robin to see his great grandpa Noel and his grandpa Paul. Now he is dancing in his dreams.
  No more news on Mike, Maria's husband who is in the hospital. We keep praying for good news. Josh and Christina were supposed to come by last night and I stayed awake half the night waiting but they never showed and never called. Courtesy calls are so important, I do not understand why some folks find them such a challenge. They could be called mercy calls. Have mercy on people who worry about you and let them know what is up so they can pick something else to worry about besides you. Saria is getting very close to delivery time.
  Today I am thankful for friends near and far, for the ones I do see and the ones I don't see. We can send love across the universe if we've a mind to so let's do it for all those we love, and to all those people who have found themselves in harm's way from natural disasters as well as the madness of men.

October 28, 2005
Dreams are illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you. Marsha Norman
The winter frost peaked in this morning. The chill is in the air. I didn't dream last night so my soul not have had much to say. Change is coming and change is good. I think I am realizing I haven't yet seen the path that is coming or even how to adjust our lives to the circumstances. Like the main character in a Dean Koontz novel, there is something I am missing, something on the edge of my vision, something really important. It is like the old adage that making a living isn't necessarily making a life. I want more life It is only when I lose sight of my blessings of family, friends, faith and art that I spiral out of control and sail off to the land of dark depression. When I do it isn't too long before I tire of walking those black beaches and swim off again towards the setting sun. The little quote below that Dale sent comes to mind. After youth and experience it is not so easy to dodge responsibility because we have memory of just what the results can be and how heavy can be their toll.
It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.
Sir Josiah Stamp

Today I will shoulder my responsibilities with a smile knowing that if I ask, God will pick up the slack.

On another note, I had a nice cell phone visit with Ron Llinas yesterday on my way back from Bellingham. I have also met some really nice people while working for a few weeks up there. It is refreshing to come across a group of people who work well together and even like each other. Yes.
October 27, 2005
 Two o'clock in the morning and Kayden is wide awake. What is a papa to do? Hold him and love him I guess. I have the rest of my old age to sleep. Chani called from Alaska and she sounds so good. She has been taking Juice Plus and she said it really helps with mood swings. It works really great for me as well. She and Chris have learned to make their own silk screen frames, They are so creative. I admire the fact that they are working for themselves to support themselves. That is it for now, this boy has gotten too big to hold with one arm for very long. The body grows old and weary, thank God we can stay young at heart.

October 26, 2005
When our center is strong, everything else is secondary. Elie Wiesel
    I have driven for 150 miles today and have been blessed with several examples of why it is time for a change. Why do I not make the necessary steps. It is vanity anyway. Making peace inside, coming to terms with who we are is the real deal. Is this life significant? Are we doing anything that really matters? All those questions bounce around my brain.
    I listened to Jimmy Buffet for a few hours today. I just about have the Ballads album memorized. Who would have ever thought that would happen? I think I am envious of other people's lives sometimes. It is easy to do that if I don't own the responsibility for where I am sitting at this time. I feel like a boiling cauldron is churning on a subconscious level. I feel the fall out but I cannot define the reasons. I thought today that part of the turmoil I feel is a result of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: the Bush BS. 2000 soldiers dead and hundreds of thousands of civilians. It could be the earthquakes, hurricanes and fires. We all have good times and bad times. How can your soul not feel the wait of the sorrow of our fellow human beings around the world. What can we do? That is the question. I think the answer to the angst is in action. Just like over coming depression comes from service to others, fighting this weight on my soul will probably only come about when I do something to make this place a little better. Maybe for me that is in songs, poems and singing. It must be. I keep doing things to make corporations even fatter and even richer while my music gathers dust, and my guitar sits idle. This seems to be a time when I am practicing my Whine-ese. How am I doing?.
   Breath in peace. My sister Maria's husband is in ICU with what might be another heart attack. Prayers if you please. It seems like the world's gone crazy and the world's gone mad. I have to run the long race. Breath in peace and pace yourself.

October 25, 2005

The most important opinion you have is the one you have of yourself, and the most significant things you say all day are those things you say to yourself.
Yurgai Sasgootasmein
   I read that quote this morning right after I told myself that no CD is going to get done. I am too tired and immobile to do much of anything but sleep and I can't even do that well. So I think I will read it again and see if I can pull up from this nose dive. I haven't seen much of Josh as he hangs out in the back room playing videos and watching sports or poker. I am not a sport fan unfortunately so we miss that bonding time. We don't see much of Liz anymore either. She goes to school, goes to work and then goes to her boyfriend's house. She doesn't even see Kayden at all on many days. Andie loves him enough for all of us, though we love him big too. I am rambling as I tend to do.
   Had another talk with Christopher about sequencing. He really dialed in some songs. It amazes me thinking about how much time that must have taken to listen to, learn and then play all those instrument parts. That takes the patience of Budda. My head hurts so I am going to stop now. It is a brand new day, seize it, squeeze it and run in the sun.
God bless everyone in Florida after yet another hurricane. October 24, 2005
 We finally saw Josh and Christina. She was having really strong contractions the night that Andie and I had our dreams. She thought that she was going to have Saria that night. It is not surprising. We both had such a strong sense that something was going on with her. Josh seems like he is really looking forward to being a Papa. He doesn't say a lot but when he talks to Kayden you can see it in his eyes and hear it in his voice. This is very exciting: new lives.
   We went to a new church on Sunday, the New Life Center in Snohomish where Liz went for Youth Group over the last few years. It was nice though the Pastor seemed to have a hard time staying focused on what he was saying. He told a story that gave me goose bumps. He said a young boy told his parents that he had a dream and in the dream graves had opened and people were floating up into the air. He said then other people who were not dead started to rise in the air. He said he saw his grandfather and described the suit his grandfather was buried in even though he wasn't at the funeral. He said he saw his grandmother too. She had also passed away. She was holding two babies in her arms. He didn't understand what it all meant. He was unaware that his grandmother had had two babies that were still born and what he was seeing was what is known as the Rapture. The part about the babies gave me that rush that feels like you are going to cry but you don't. It is an intense rush of emotion. I have thought about that story all day as Andie, Kayden and I went to the Mall and shopped for clothes. We held him the whole time. She is holding him still. What wonders there are in babies and what a joy and blessing they bring to this life. In a few weeks they are going to journey through the book of Revelations. That should prove to be very interesting.
Happiness, the key to growing old gracefully.

 

October 23, 2005
   I am up at in the wee hours. The noises of the night have kept me awake. I was excited about using midi stuff again after Christopher came over yesterday. I copied some of his files onto my laptop this morning and I made them work with Digital Performer, MOTU software. It was fun to dial in different sounds and change volumes on the instruments. I was my own conductor this morning. The nature of things have changed and I believe I will be doing more recording and mixing with my laptop and less writing. We will see how the time falls into place. Insomnia can be of some creative use I guess.
    It was a pleasant evening at the Cafe last night. The place was packed and they were turning people away. I enjoyed playing and I met a young guitarist, named Daniel I believe, who seemed to be soaking up what I was playing. Guitar is such a great instrument. It is a wonderful thing to have around when you are lonesome and when you are happy. I stopped into to listen to Dee Roberson at Provinces last night on the way home. She sounded fine. I was a little road weary and anxious to get home. I brought Chinese food home so Andie and I had a late night "got rice" dinner.
  I didn't get an answer when I called Josh last night so I don't know if my dreams were just dreams or if something is really going on up there, as in is the baby coming? I spoke to Dale Antonsen last night and he and Kathy and the gang were drinking cocktails and carving pumpkins. Sounds like a dangerous combination but then I have never been much of a pumpkin carver. I am more about eating Pumpkin Pie. My day is already all turned around because I should be sleeping. Maybe I will try chasing a few more z's. See ya.

A smile is a curve that sets everything straight. Phyllis Diller

October 22, 2005
   Yesterday I was in the Starbucks headquarters store and I bought my friend Aaron, me and Kayden Starbucks baseball hats. Kayden is in his little play scooter stool wearing little high top tennis shoes and his Starbucks hat. He got fussy so that ended typing for a while. Now he is sleeping on my chest as I type with one hand. Christopher is coming out for a while to show me how sequencing works and to visit. Jimmy says he wants to make the next vesper service and play like Christopher and I did last Sunday. Bellingham has a lot of possibilities for the future. Playing at Vesper service there is such a blessing. It is lovely up there.
   Speaking of Bellingham where Christina and Josh are, I dreamed last night that Christina told me to help Saria get ready to be born. I touched her tummy and the baby turned from head up to head down. It wasn't much fun for Christina and in the dream I was calling for Josh and Andie but they were nowhere to be found. After Saria got into position Christina thanked me and laid back to relax and wait for the next phase. Andie said she dreamed about Christina too so we are going to call up there today and see how she is. Pretty soon we will have two grand babies. Holding this little one brings back all the fond memories in my heart of all the now grown children when they were this little. It seems like only a moment ago. So much has happened, so many changes, so many lives inter and outer woven. The richness of life is measured in both laughter and tears. Caring for a baby gives us a minuscule sense of the extent of God's love; what wouldn't you do to love and protect a baby? We are all just babies who have aged, and grown in different ways. What if we had that same compassion and respect and love and caring for one another that we do for a small child? What kind of world would this be? What kind of relationships would we have?

 

October 21, 2005 
  It has been an interesting day. I think I will find now and in the future that poems and blogging may take place as a reflection on the day that is passing and less on the embankment upon the beginning of the day. Jimmy and I had a nice visit last night in the studio. We had a few laughs and shared Flash Poems. Liz came in and interviewed me for her poetry class. Boy, I hope that session doesn't hit the Internet. At one point I asked, who thought up these questions? She said I did. Wow. Jimmy was sharing the Poems with friends too. Erik, the song writer friend, wrote an e-mail saying how much he enjoyed Kayden's first tune. It is the Kayden and Papa MP3  link. I am about to set out on my gig at The Cafe. I have really come to enjoy the time playing my guitar and recording the loops and then playing along. It is so immediate. The recordings have about a 6 to 10 minute life and then they are erased for new creations. It is fun.
   My friend Aaron and I went for a beer near Edmonds. We celebrated the fact that we have worked together for eight years. We had a lot of laughs sitting in the late summer of autumn and sipping Mirror Pond. His brother Tim was the man who helped me stop smoking by using hypnosis. Andie has been very happy that I am tobacco free. Yea. I finished working my last day downtown where I have been for several years. I didn't take any pictures for some reason. I think I just wanted to keep the memory of the changing seasons in my heart along with the faces of the folks who became my friends.
Sarah Maria is sending me ideas and leads of new jobs. I am so ready for a change. Bring it on.
Every failure made me more confident. Because I wanted even more to achieve as revenge. To show that I could.
Roman Polanski     Thanks Dale.

October 20, 2005 
   It is Thursday, the day after our one evening of TV tubing; Lost and Invasion have us hooked at the moment. I must say that I am losing interest due to the amount of commercials they play. I wake up feeling I lost a little too much sleep.
 My friend Jimmy Culler called to tell me he is joining a band with Jimmy and Mike Wright. He needs the money since we aren't doing anything as a band he is reluctantly taking the spot. He was concerned about how I would feel, kind hearted fellow. I don't really have the words to express this helpless feeling. It is like being a drift without a paddle or sail. This will pass, I hope. I want to play more music too. I guess I should really put a band together for performing and learn a bunch of other people's songs. It could be fun, you never know. You never know. I wish I could hook up with Starbucks Hear Music program. That program offers huge opportunities for musicians to share their music with the world through their many Starbucks stores.

    There must be more to life than increasing its speed. Mahatma Ghandi   

October 31, 2005
The last days. I believe ever since time began people have been talking about the last days. I believe we are in the last days. We have always been in the last days in the sense that life is a series of last days. Every day we have is unique to itself and can be lived once and only once. In that sense it is both a first and a last. It is up to us to make of it as much as we can.
Today I will pay attention to the moments and embrace each one for what it is and what it brings.

October 19, 2005 
   I need my book of quotes so I can grab a happy thought. I am about to change the place I spend my days and it makes me kind of sad. Although I work alone much of the time and sometimes with he help of Aaron, and the nature of computer work is solo, I will miss the faces of many people and the space which has been mine for several years now. And I get to look forward to greater and longer commutes in the immediate future. Millions of Americans suffer from depression. I think it is a healthy symptom of an unfulfilled life. I just saw a quote that said happy is the person who uses the gifts they were meant to use. Amen to that. I was listening to the radio and thinking why aren't my songs playing on the air? My greatest strength is music, no matter what I do vocationally everyone knows me as a musician. Everyone except me. It is interesting to note that when things get stagnant and action is most needed to break out of the muck, a feeling of weariness descends, an absence of energy percolates and a weight of immobility veils the will to make a move. The future seems unfocused. The light at the end of the tunnel is something you might see but that will be when you are done living. The living dead are all around. They don't gobble up their neighbors, they thrive on fast food and TV. I want to live. I can't remember the last time I walked in a forest or saw a waterfall. It is amazing how fast waking slumber can envelope a person. Oregon, California, Alaska: all good states that may need a visit soon. I am being pulled toward the North Land and at the same time toward the Southern sun. But all that worry and dark thinking dissolves in the face of Kayden when he smiles.
   Chani and Chris want us to visit Alaska but it doesn't look good at this time because of all the changes we are undergoing. I am impressed with how happy Chani sounds and with the fact that she is using her talent as her heart guides her.
  I guess Christina and Josh are moving to Ohi California so Christina can go to massage therapy school. I can't imagine starting a rigorous education program two months after a new baby arrives but I can see Christina doing it. We are looking at what opportunities there are in the area. It looks absolutely beautiful there.
  I got a Starbucks gift card for a present and a going away card from Rob and Debbie. The card was The Top 10 reasons you might want to own a red neck truck. What a funny choice of a card since I have a jaded attitude towards pick up trucks and their drivers. I live in the country and there are a lot of trucks and many of their drivers share a tendency to tail gate, use brights beams and a number of other techniques to intimidate drivers of leprechaun cars like me. The card was funny though and very thoughtful. I especially liked number three; your tools are worth more than your truck.

 

 

October 18, 2005 
   The autumn leaves are radiant with reds, and rich golds, browns and yellow. I love the colors of autumn. The days tease us with icy winds and return to blustery but warm weather. It is much like the teeter totter ride that life can be. I keep having sympathy pain and flashes towards my sister Debra. I look at my left hand playing all those chords and I cannot imagine not having my fingers. God bless her through this trauma and there after. I was talking to my father about what I had heard of the accident and he said he'd have people praying for her. It is hard, this life. It is hard and wonderful at the same time. Life is life. I still wish like a child that things were different and that our whole family had been and could be close. I am thankful for the relationship with all my sons and daughters. Liz said some very nice things about Andie and I when she spoke in front of a teen pregnancy class yesterday. I wish I could have been there. Liz is working a job and is making straight A's in school. It is great. Josh and Christina came home for a few days as of last night. I was ready for bed by the time they arrived so I was just good for a few hugs. Mike Perillo came by and he and Josh visited until late in the evening. The porch light kept waking me up every time they would go outside to smoke. They were very quiet and considerate with the very little noise they were making but that light has no mercy. I am really tired this morning. C'est la guerre. Christina is looking pretty ready to have Saria come out and play. I talked to Christina's mom yesterday when she called from California. I enjoyed talking to her, she seems nice.
   
Today I will be thankful for the gifts I have in my life and I will send out love to those who are in the valley of their lives; a mountain is coming.
 

 

October 17, 2005
   Vespers was wonderful again. Kayden, Andie, Christopher and I rode together to Bellingham. Andie found the house where Josh and Christina live while Christopher and I rehearsed with Kevin and Paul for 3 hours. Kayden was awake for the first part of the service that followed our rehearsal. The theme was the sermon on the mount and consisted predominantly of music. We all left with very much uplifted spirits. Kevin and Paul were thrilled with Christopher's guitar and vocal work. It was off for home after that with only one incident in which Kayden freaked out in the dark and starting screaming. We had to stop so I could hold him and calm him down. Boy does he have a set of pipes. It is up and running and off into a new day, a new week, a new life. Today I celebrate change with an open spirit and heart to what possibilities await.
The person born with a talent they are meant to use will find their
greatest happiness in using it. Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
Thanks Dale.

October 16, 2005
 Well it is off to Bellingham to play at Bellingham Covenant Church for the first time this year. We look forward to this time with our friend Pastor Paul. Christopher Nickels is going up with us and Jimmy Culler may even make the trek. It was a good but long day yesterday. Bill Spies made great head way at Mike's studio. Mike is a good coach and engineer. He is going to be very successful with Studio 04. He also has a great heart. He and April are some of my favorite people.
  I got some terrible news that my sister had a catastrophic run in with a skill saw and through the negligence of a doctor will be without almost all of the fingers on her left hand. Vote no on 330. If we want lower insurance premiums we should have better doctors. Do not throw away our right to a trial for damages.
  We were a four piece last night at Provinces. Ron Llinas on acoustic guitar, Jimmy Culler on bass, Christopher Nickels on lead and me. We had another unusual crowd and some folks that probably should have gone home stayed to the end. I got a busted lip from having my mic knocked into my face but it was still fun. Melinda and Stan, friends from Starbucks, came in and Stan stayed almost the whole evening. Melinda took off early because she was at Prov's for an hour and a half before I started. She got a head start on the beers. We had a lot of fun and played a lot of music. Dee got up in her mini mini and sang a few songs and as the tradition goes, Kenny closed the show with, you guessed it, The House of the Rising Son. Thanks to Dale for shaking with the band on Friday. Thanks to everyone who made the trip.

October 15, 2005
 Yesterday was 24 and a half hours long. I guess I still have some juice left. The tough part of the busy day is missing seeing Kayden and Andie. Kayden just rolled over for the first time and it took place at daycare.
   I am typing this at Mike's studio while Bill Spies is getting set up for his tracks on his new tune In My Kingdom. After a few hours of sleeping a new day has begun. Mike's studio is looking and sounding great. Speaking of studios, Bob Lang came into Provinces last night with our mutual friend Peter. He is doing great. He just finished working with Dave Mathews. He said he has just stuck it out all these years and it is paying off. People are coming from all over the world to record at Bob Lang's Studio. I need a little more research on the subject but Bob has become famous around the world for a rock he brought back from Mexico. When he cut this rock open he found chiseled images from the Bible inside. Apparently a flash of light came out of the rock when he cut it. I plan to go visit the studio in the next week or so and learn a little bit more about this phenomena. I am also interested in his school for recording engineering.
   Manolito called and says he is sick with a cold and won't be in this weekend. Last night was great with Jimmy, Christopher and I. Christopher has a new Line 6 PODXT Live effects processor. He has already dug in deep and gotten some incredible settings for his guitar. It is so much more clean the stomp boxes. There was a different crowd last night. There were Bikers, couples, singles, old people, young people, old fans and new friends. We were all plugged into the PA board last night so we had lots of room on the floor and a very balanced sound. It was very cool.

October 14, 2005
  Yea Friday! It's a gonna be music tonight!
These days of the Provinces weekend last 23 hours for me so I hope I can get a little nap in this afternoon. Kayden has been having a rough time because he got some more shots. He is also just excited to be alive I think. He is now in one of those rolling chairs so he can bounce with his little legs. It is almost mind boggling how fast he is growing.
 I heard from Great Grandpa Joe yesterday and he said he is doing good. He is so patient to listen to me ramble on about everything that is happening in our life. He sent his love for everybody here. Josh and Christina are off to Bellingham once again so I don't expect to see them when I get home. I am guessing they won't be around this weekend. We will get it together to play. Andie and I are hoping and praying for a big change. We need a business which can employ our whole tribe so we can live near each other and work together.
   My friend Aaron Ewing was telling me about the bar in Pioneer Square called Cowgirls. He said it was a blast and the women treated all the guys great. He didn't care for the bouncers but he said the bar was full of beautiful women. He is a fan of Cowgirls now.
I am looking forward to all the music this weekend.

October 13, 2005
  For some reason I am having to battle my software lately. I have so little time that I like it best when things run smoothly. It is a new morning and the weekend quickly approaches. It could be interesting. Josh, my son, may come down and sit in at Provinces. Rob said he might even be up for coming in as well. I have talked to Christopher, John Matthews and Jimmy. Ronnie and I have e-mailed each other. He usually drops in on Saturdays if he isn't playing. As for Manolito, no word as yet. Dale, Shaker Boy will be there too, and so will Aaron who also loves to play the shaker. Hope to see you there in person or in spirit.
   Andie was up for 2 and a half hours with Kayden last night so she is going to have a very long day. Her poor arms are in sad shape. She has braces on both arms and is in constant pain from arthritis, tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. Of course it hasn't slowed her down a bit but it is hard to see suffering. Prayers are always a good thing. If she couldn't move her arms at all I would have to put Kayden in a sling just so she could hold him. She loves that little baby.
  Christina is about to pop anytime now. I am sure she will be happy when her and Josh's daughter, Saria, will be born. So we are one day away from Friday, we have shelter, water, food and each other. We are blessed.

October 12, 2005
 Things can change so very fast. Look at all the people who have lost every thing in moments as a result of acts of nature like hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis. Then there are all the wars and rumors of wars. There are so many signs of the times. So many hearts are hardened to the suffering in the world. We are bombarded by the media, not only in the news, but on entertainment shows as well. How do you maintain your sensitivity in light of so much horror. We must retain a sense of humor some how because it is said that everything happens as part of a big plan and a big picture. All these people calling out to different Gods and able to do unspeakable acts in the name of those Gods makes laughing a challenge. But joy is there in the face of a baby, in the smile in your lover's eyes, in a melody that touches your heart or makes you tap your toes. There is a time and a season for all things. I think we can better face what is coming if we are holding hands and holding tightly.

October 11, 2005
   I am thankful for another day in which I have set out and returned safely from the days travels. I am not adjusting to the season and other changes in life with much smoothness. I know good is coming yet the doubting Thomas in me has a very loud voice. Today I will keep my eyes open to the signals shown on my new journey, after all, luck is when preparation meets opportunity. At least that is what they say. I may have more to say but I can't seem to wake up. Starbucks. Yes, that is the ticket.

Keep growing quietly and seriously throughout your whole development. Rainier Maria Rilke

October 10, 2005
I heard from both Sarah & Chani yesterday. Sarah has a brand new baby, a kitty. She has been staying home and taking care of him. She sounded like she is loving the company and the little life to give care. She is working up some harmony ideas for recording. We look forward to seeing her soon. Chani is loving the season change in Alaska. The forest in the pictures she sent looks like a pastel painting.
I was thinking about what a blessing family is and how lucky I am to have daughters, sons and a grand son and grand daughter. Where does the time go now. I can hear the whoosh of another day's passing.

October 9, 2005
The Cafe was packed on Saturday night and again the crowd was so loud it hurt my ears. It seems to thin out near quitting time and I often encounter very pleasant people as I did Saturday. Andie came in with Kayden at the end of my set and people were taken by his charm. I gave out a few cards for people to check out his song. There is a link above and it is called Kayden & Papa. I hope they listen. Then we went and had a great visit with Jason and Blu and got to see some of their fun toys like a blow torch for desert and a laser thermometer. That was especially fun. We ate beautiful and tasty home made ice-cream and caramelize bananas ( recipe from Good Eats on the Food Network. Yum.

We never know how high we are until we are called to rise. Emily Dickinson
Not one of us is a saint and yet we carry within ourselves the strength of ages. Julia Cameron

October 8, 2005
   I can hear the baby stirring in his room and the second shift of the day is about to begin. The puppy sleeps by my side and I hear the crackle of the baby monitor. Andie got me this book by the author of The Artist's Way, Julia Cameron. It contains prayers and declarations for a changing life. It is very inspirational. My friend Dale often sends me quotes and I like to get quotes from a book I bought for Andie. This book will offer some good thoughts for Journaling as well.
Like this one from Leo Tolstoy; The changes in our life must come from the impossibility to live otherwise than according to the demands of our conscience. The book effectively deals with many trials in life that we each will experience. It paints the picture of the perfect part that each event plays in our life. Since we are a part of the whole and our souls are eternal the temporal things are often given too much weight in light of the big picture. It is the natural way to think but it makes life much more difficult than it should be. The quote is dealing with endings and how when we reach an ending in our life we should accept it be it a situation or a relationship. We should be ready to move on to the next phase of growth, to let go of the past and face the future following the voice of our conscience. We are each in God's care and can trust that if we listen to the still small voice comfort and answers will come.

October 7, 2005
   In the wee hours before dawn I fed Kayden and then sat and watched him sleeping in my arms. I was thinking what a miracle life is. We are all interwoven in this tapestry and our spirits are from God. Though we pass through this life, housed in these bodies, our spirits are eternal and the next great adventure awaits us. But just now holding my sleeping grandson I felt a bit of heaven in my arms.

October 6, 2005
   It is kind of strange to be getting started this late in the day. I didn't even realize that I hadn't written in the journal yet. I spent some time on the phone with Christopher this morning talking about music, Verizon and life. It seems there are opportunities in Hawaii for people who can play Reggae and even arrange standards as Reggae songs. It has always been my feeling that any song ever written would make a good Reggae song. Well, Okee from Muskogee might be a little weird.
   Kayden is off to daycare and I watch the clock until time to get him home. Kim, from Provinces, sent me an e-mail saying she heard his first recording and she loved it. Josh and Christina have hung out with us these past days and Kayden likes to sing to Josh's guitar playing as well. It is hard to remember what life was like before he arrived.
  Mike Daily and I talked today as well about Bill Spies and his recording project. We will be doing that at Studio 04. Bill is a very kind hearted soul with a lot to say regarding spirituality.
   The 17th of October is the start date for this seasons Vesper services in Bellingham. We play from 6:30 to 7:30 one Sunday a month at the Bellingham Covenant Church. It is a very uplifting experience and one we all look towards through the fall and winter seasons. And fall is quickly coming upon us. Get ready.

October 5, 2005
    Another day has slipped away. It was mostly spent between Andie and I holding and playing with Kayden. Imagine that.
Hey I was wondering if anyone else has had problems with Verizon and their billing practices. We signed up for all in one bill. Don't do it! They didn't send us a bill for two months and then started to harass us saying we were late in our payments. They also didn't change our service or point out unlimited free text messages are not free and not unlimited. Every one outside the Verizon network is 45 cents after 50 messages. We got a bill in the neighborhood of $1000: the results of a teenage daughter's social life. Liz's cell phone sounded like a slot machine because 24/7 it pinged with messages. No where in their add do they have a disclaimer, they just say $5 a month gets you unlimited free text messaging. I think we should sue them for false advertising. Can you hear me now? The answer is hell no!
 I am waking up now, sort of, anyway. I have been searching Craig's list for job ideas and haven't come up with anything that looks good. It seems I am undereducated for the positions I'd like and would be underpaid for the positions I could get. I would like to work this studio and music exclusively. We are talking about lowering over head because it seems we have stretched ourselves like Elasti-girl. I worked on the shed to finish some of what Patrick left undone and quickly decided carpentry won't be my first choice. I don't get excited at the thought of more education but it seems that is the ticket to a brighter tomorrow. I guess I had best dust off the cob webs and get to it.

 October 4, 2005 
   It is the beginning of the wee hours of the morning and Josh, Phil and Mike are in the studio. Andie is reading Back to Eden and I am catching up on my typing. Andie has some very nice shots of Kayden to give me. I have had to rely on my little Kodak and my limited photography skills. Lucky I have a great model. Missy had been to the vet over and over with no real luck. Last night Christina and I were talking about nutritional cures for her skin condition. Nettles on the skin, but garlic and brewer's yeast and fish or flax seed oil in her food. It will be interesting to see if we can get her to eat those things or if we have to force feed her tablets. I say whatever works will be good.
   We received a brief note from Terri Fickel and it sounds life she is doing okay and putting a lot of faith and trust in God through the changes that lie ahead. I am glad we heard something because we think and talk about our Fickel friends a lot.
   It is sure nice to have some down time here at the house. I had planned on mixing this last CD effort but it doesn't seem to have had much priority in the to do list. We need new promo as well to get some gigs going. It is almost festival submittal time once again. Can you believe it? Time flies when you are busy having a life.   

October 3, 2005
  We headed out yesterday to get a few things at the store including some educational toys for Kayden. A few miles from our house we passed a moving sale. Andie wants a dresser for Kayden's clothes so we turned around and went back. We came home with a bed for Liz. It worked out because we could now put the futon in the back room for Josh and Christina or whoever stops over. Needless to say about 8 hours later I never even turned on the power in the studio. Here is the funny thing. Mark, the father of the woman selling all the furnishings, builds garages for a living. We have been talking about building a combination garage, studio, apartment since Patrick was here, but we were lacking in the skill set department. So we set out for toys and light bulbs and came home with a bed and brochures. Go figure.
   In the course of cleaning up the back room I found the Recovery Pack of CD's for Chani's laptop. I just need to hear from her to confirm her address and I can send those up to her in Alaska. I was so excited because her laptop caught a virus and has been down for months. I also heard from Andie that Sarah has a new baby; a kitty. She told Andie she is very happy with her new little one.
   It is gray and cold outside this morning. Most of the leaves have fallen off the Lilac bush outside my window opening a view on the neighbor's very scary back yard. I miss those leaves in the winter. They offer a haven from the reality of what lies nearby. It is a thin veil, the thing we call security, thin and easily torn. True security comes from conviction of the heart and peace of mind that prevails no matter what else is happening. No matter what.

October 2, 2005
   I have been listening to this techno thing I wrote for Patrick who lives in Belgium. It is kind of fun and I think there is a lot more where that came to be. I think taking a different approach to writing is good for new ideas. I saw Don Quijano and the girls at Provinces. What a refreshing sound. Kelly(from the Philippines) got up and played lead guitar too. They sounded great but I was tired and needed to head home. Kelly (the bartender and singer) was there too. I ran into Dee Robersin on the way to my car. She was on her way in to sit in with the band. I had a very nice night at the Cafe. I just really enjoyed playing my guitar. I didn't sing at all but I really poured my heart out through the strings of my Takemine. Music is good for the soul.
  I have these memories bouncing off my mind and I think about writing these stories and by the time I get to the laptop I can't remember them. I know there was one about a recording I used to have of Freedom. He was born to record. He had a sense of the whole process. I once hid a microphone under pillows on the couch and tried to get him to sing. He kept saying Microphone and throwing the pillows off the couch until he found it. It wasn't making any sound, he sensed that it was there and probably just knew he would get a better recording without the pillows. He was about 2 years old. Kids show you where they are headed if you pay attention and help them to believe they can go anywhere and do anything they believe they can.

October 1, 2005
    The autumn is upon us and summer fires are still raging. These are strange times in which we live. Strange times indeed. Thank God for the warmth of friendship and the healing of humor. In the face of so much tragedy claim the calm days and bask in them. I heard some trivia today. Oahu is the island in the pacific with the least amount of weather and tsunami threat. Of course that info was published by Wakikihulahulamua Travel Agency. I don't know where they got their information but it sounds beaching to me. They say September and October are good times to go. We did that before and it rained every day but it was warm rain and still fun.
   I had a pleasant night at the Cafe. I felt for Colette because there were 12 people who made reservations for dinner and then only wanted deserts and to top it off they all paid separately. That is amazing to me. Sometimes the people in the restaurant are so loud they hurt my ears and I have amplification. Still I did enjoy playing and it feels kind of home like to me there at the Cafe now. The girls have warmed up since I first started and now it feels like a team. It is nice; no games, no weirdness just serving in different ways. I like it.

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Greg Murat (mur-rah)  
  Singer-Songwriter  Guitarist